Academic career and teaching activities
  • Research Assistant at Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Trento, since 1983
  • Confirmed Permanent Research Assistant, since 1986
  • Member of the Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory at the Physics Department of the University of Trento, since 1997
  • Associate Professor CHIM/06 Department of Physics, from 2002 to 2015.
  • Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Department of Physics, since 2015.
  • Director of the Center for Agriculture Food and Environment (CAFE) inter-institutional didactic/research collaboration of UNITN-E. Mach Foundation, from May 2016 till June 2017
Research interests

In the past, his main research interests dealt with broad topics within the wide area of Organic Chemistry, especially the field of the Chemistry of Natural Products. The latter has represented the most important field of research, in which he can claim "consolidated" expertise and international recognition. During the years his research activity has focused on structural and synthetic aspects of marine secondary metabolites. Primary purpose of the work is the isolation of "lead compounds", the understanding of their functional, ecological and evolutionary role and their exploitation in applied fields such as Medicinal Chemistry or drug discovery.  He has also extensively dealt with the conformational analysis of whole classes of natural compounds. Inspired by interesting phenomena due to the presence of conformational interconversions within certain new natural products isolated from marine organisms, He has investigated in depth, through measurements of Dynamic Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and the use of MM and ab initio computational methods, the most important thermodynamics, kinetic and stereochemical aspects of these molecular motions. In early 2000, he opened a new line, which could be defined “environmental bioorganic chemistry”, to bring the experience and scientific rigor gained from the study of natural products in the field of ecology where, generally, is largely prevalent a pure "analytical" approach based on the detection / quantification of known molecules (target analysis). In recent years the development of advanced spectroscopic techniques (in particular, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectrometry) for a complete definition of the lipid profile of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells (lipidomics approach), both in plants and animals, and the elucidation of the main biochemical function of this class of natural products have become the major focus of his research activities.He is Author/Coauthor of 222 scientific publications (hindex= 32, more than 4000 citations, source Scopus) on refereed International Journals of Organic Chemistry and Physical and Analytical Organic Chemistry. Strongly active peer reviewer of national/international research grants and the most relevant International Journals in the broad field of Organic Chemistry. 

Research work
  1. New secondary metabolites: a) structural elucidation, synthesis, phylogenetic significance and biological activities to be exploited in pharmacological applications; b) application of the biochemical / biophysical methodologies in the study of secondary metabolites. 
  2. a) Bioorganic methodologies in environmental chemistry; b) characterization of non-covalent interactions of organic molecules (natural and/or synthetic) with cyclodextrins, bicelles, liposomes and studies of peptide-membrane interactions; c) molecular imprinting techniques and MALDI detection of  different classes of metabolites 
  3. a) Development of new ionization methods for atmospheric pressure mass spectrometry, and the study of ion-molecule reactions in the gas phase;  b) mechanistic investigation of the hydrolysis reactions of covalent hydrides for the production of molecular hydrogen through the development of new techniques of NMR analysis
  4. Investigations through metabolomics and, mainly, lipidomics approaches how external stressors effect the membrane lipids profile in different biological matrices (animals, plants, microorganisms)

Technical skills and competences

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Chromatography
  • Optical and Chiroptical Spectroscopy
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Computational Chemistry
Memberships in societies and scientific committees

Member of the Italian Chemical Society 

Membro della American Chemical Society

Awards and honours

AWARD "ASSOENOLOGI 2013" for advanced developments in Wine Chemistry and Oenology described in two papers:

  • Profiling of Resveratrol Oligomers, Important Stress Metabolites, Accumulating in the Leaves of Hybrid Vitis vinifera (Merzling x Teroldego) Genotypes Infected with Plasmopara viticola, JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY(ISSN:0021-8561),p.2507-2516, 2012, 60  .- DOI: 10.1021/jf2052256
  • Profiling and accurate quantification of trans-resveratrol,trans-piceid, trans-pterostilbene and 11 viniferins induced by Plasmopara viticola in partially resistant grapevine leaves  in: AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF GRAPE AND WINE RESEARCH (ISSN:1322-7130),p.11-19,2112,18DOI:10.1111/j.1755-0238.2011.00163.x